- © 2008 by the Mineralogical Society of America
The platinum-group elements contain three radioisotope systems that have been used in many and varied ways in geo- and cosmochemistry. Unique chronological applications include dating the formation of such diverse materials as sulfides, gold, organic-rich sediments, iron meteorites, and sulfide inclusions in diamonds. These systems also serve as isotope tracers for processes such as continental erosion, the deposition of extraterrestrial materials on Earth's surface, crust-mantle differentiation, recycling of subducted crust into the mantle, core-mantle exchange, and volatile-element depletion of planets and planetesimals. Although these systems have been in use for only a short time, the discoveries they have provided bode well for their incorporation as staples in the geochemical toolbox.